Interprofessional Education Lab

Inset_Innovation_IPELab_ROI.jpgResearch and practical experience show patients who are cared for by groups of clinicians that understand the elements of teamwork have better outcomes. However, in many health professions programs, learners are typically trained in silos. Nurses learn with nurses. Physicians learn with physicians. Social workers learn with social workers. And pharmacists learn with pharmacists. They rarely learn as a team.

How might we create expert teams instead of teams of experts in health care?

Since its inception, OSF Innovation through Jump Simulation has placed high importance on developing curriculum and simulation that teaches and trains people about the fundamentals of working as a team to improve their capabilities in the field. Through the Interprofessional Education Lab, researchers will find innovative ways and unique formats to expand this work to reach learners where they are, and ensure clinicians and trainees learn how to work effectively as a team in a variety of circumstances.

This lab will use technology and techniques available now and develop new ones to achieve its goal of building experts teams instead of teams of experts. By building better medical teams, the IPE Lab can truly transform health care delivery and improve outcomes not just for the patients but for people around the world.

Transforming medical education and training

  • Reshape clinical education: Currently, nursing and medical education run on different academic calendars and students begin supervised clinical work separately from each other. The IPE Lab is exploring ways to change clinical education globally by bringing medical education, nursing and other health care students together at an early stage in their education. These young learners will study side-by-side until they transition into their own respective educational programs with an eye to bringing them together again throughout their medical training journey.
  • Build team skills virtually: As COVID-19 continues to pervade the country, the IPE Lab is considering options that will allow people to work on team skills in a virtual environment. While it's not the same as in-person learning, it is an effective way to gain initial skills and thought processes that people need to be successful members of a clinical team.
  • Solidify organizational support for IPE among practicing clinicians: While it's known that front line clinicians should participate in skills and interprofessional team training, making this a reality is difficult due to scheduling and space issues. The IPE lab will work with other OSF Innovation Labs to develop novel prediction algorithms and scheduling solutions that will identify optimal windows for teamwork training while supporting front line staff and continuing service to patients.
  • ImPACTS Collective study: Research nationwide suggests there are major treatment gaps between children's hospital emergency departments (EDs) and general community EDs that may care for acutely ill children. In many instances, general community EDs have fewer pediatric cases, less access to specialists, limited educational activities related to young patients and lack equipment to care for children. As a result, the IPE Lab helped OSF HealthCare launch the Improving Pediatric Acute Care through Simulation (ImPACTS) Collaborative, a nationwide effort to improve access to safe, effective emergency care to children regardless of where they live. As part of this work, the Jump Research will assess every hospital with an ED on their readiness to provide pediatric acute care. Based on those findings, clinical leaders will work with those sites to develop and implement quality improvement plans.

Help us build better medical teams!

If you are interested in learning more about the Interprofessional Education Lab, participating in certain aspects of the journey or if you want to invest or partner, contact us today.

Leading the Way


Ann Willemsen-Dunlap, PHD, CRNA, Director of Interprofessional Education


Noel Adams, VP, Academic Collaborations & Operations